We first met
When I wasn’t looking to meet anyone.
Just by random chance
Among ALL the others.
So unlikely was our relationship.

Him, thousands of miles away.
He and I were living our own lives in seclusion,
Though both of us had someone in our lives at the time.
Non-important people…
People we cohabited with yet did not really know.

It began ever so slowly.
We were both so very wounded, it turned out.
But in one another, we found a zest for life.
Electronically connected
Over an entire nation – apart, yet, together.

When we set upon the plan to be together,
He boarded a Greyhound and set out
On a journey of three grueling days
Robbed, buffeted, bored…
He seemed to want this meeting to take place.

When he stepped off that bus down on Stuart Street,
He looked as if he’d been drowned.
Nothing but the clothes on his back.
It was very tentative at first – those first few months.
So tentative that he felt the need to escape again just a few months later.

I remember his return after his retreat.
We were both much more resolved after our break.
We had done the hard work during our first few months,
So everything was still in place.
Meds, registrations, attestations to…

His surgery was our first big test.
I saw in him what would become my most precious gift from him –
He almost totally dispensed with denial, bargaining, anger, depression.
He’d go straight to acceptance.

I noticed how much easier his life worked due to that straightforward path.
I tried it out…little things first, then bigger and bigger.
And…it worked!
I had provided him with my undying love
And he gave that back, as well as acceptance of things unchangeable.

He suffered so much with that surgery,
Constantly accepting and moving forward.
Afterwords he could walk again. What a miracle!
He’d be hospitalized again for something unrelated but just as serious.
He lost his gait then, three years later, but accepted still.

Now, after ten glorious years
We are side-by-side.
Bonded so close. We rely on one another.
If you knew me, you’d know just what an accomplishment that is.
I’m no easy nut to crack.

We have our fractured family…
Him, me, the dog, a distant son…we love them all.
It is so nice to have that experience of wholeness and completeness.
Often we re-visit our cyber world where we first met…
Our first date.

Some would call our lives unnatural, forbidden.
But, I’ve lived in those “natural” lives that those some talk about.
I can tell you emphatically, THIS…this that I have now…
This is natural.
After sixty-four years – this…

My deepest prayers are of thanksgiving for this naturality.
Finally…after all the searching…all the pain and heartache…
I have this.
And I don’t feel cheated at all.
Only blessed, abundantly.

Not cheated…blessed.

© Richard A. Martin, Jr. MD CPC, 2016